'Guat-ever!!!' travel blog

Well Janet's house is full again!(Janet is our home stay host)

We have a family from Taiwan...papa Jim(not Goldsmith)is American from Texas, but mama(WeinJin) is Taiwanese the 2 chicos(son Casey-16 and daughter Jackie 10)and they all live in Taipei! We have Vicky from Montreal and Anna from Fresno, California. An amicable group as we all sat around the dining table working on homework together!

A little about Janet...our host! She is a single, divorced mother of 2--Martin and Daniela(university age and high school). Her parents live close by and when the house is full of students, they all move down the road to Grandma's. Janet loves to cook and all meals are healthy and large portions-although I think Casey at 16 could "eat a horse and chase the rider", as dad use to say-even on his 2 hollow legs!!

We eat every morning at 7:15am so we can get to school for 8am. We have lunch around 1:15pm Dinner is served around 7:15pm. The only thing so far I haven't liked is cereal for breakfast, so Janet knows this and I have a banana, coffee and bread and jam....quite satisfactory.

Yesterday a group of students planned their own "field trip" to Pastores:

(From a Guidebook about Antigua-this is exactly what we did although we had our own guide Chris from Louisiana!)

If you want a real cultural experience, take the public bus to Pastores. To do this, go to the bus station behind the market and ask around for Pastores—the drivers and their helpers are usually yelling out where they are going. To be sure, every bus has a sign above the front window that says where they go. You will go through Jocotenango and when you start to see signs with boots on them you are there. There are boot stores all around but make sure you really look around and bargain before you are pressured into buying! You can usually purchase them for between Q200 and Q300. Don’t go alone or wander too far off the main road or away from other people. Pastores was severely affected by the rainstorms from Hurricane Stan and is gradually rebuilding. Most of the stores are still open and would appreciate your business more than ever!

Needless to say I bargained my way into a handmade pair of boots-manta ray skin(it is leather with the imprint of the skin) black and grey! and a new pair of shoes with pony on the toe and heel and chocolate brown leather sides! both for $125! the shoes alone in Canada would be that. He measured my foot in 3 places with the measuring tape and drew the outline of my feet to make the shoes--they will be ready Friday afternoon! After our excursion we all had a beer on the curb waiting for the bus and then headed for home.

Tomorrow we are off to visit an elementary school for impoverished children, ages 4-12 years old( remember to prepare tough skin tonight). They go to school in the mornings and work in the afternoon, it is the only way they can get the children to go to school at all in the city.

My teacher and I are going to the market on Thursday and I want to buy supplies and donate them to this school, she knows the director and says all donations are greatly appreciated.


we as Canadians don't know how lucky we have it...says the man who just bought 2 new pairs of shoes!

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